04/01/2015IRAN Young Iranians affected by the embargo, tired of political Islam by Bernardo Cervellera Sanctions have been largely responsible for Iran’s 20 per cent youth unemployment rate. The crisis is such that many young Iranians have to live with their parents, unable to marry and start their own family. For them, jobs remain “more important than missiles and the nuclear programme.” Mullahs have come under criticism for their corruption and for the intrusiveness of religion in public life. "Only 16-17 per cent practice Islam." Tehran (AsiaNews) – As Iranian officials continue to negotiate with representatives of the 5+1 group over Tehran’s nuclear programme in Lausanne (Switzerland), most young Iranians are working hard to find a job, increasingly disillusioned by official Islam.
The growing gap...
04/01/2015ISRAEL – PALESTINE Palestinian ICC membership means Israel and Palestinians will be accountable Palestine becomes the 123rd member of the International Criminal Court, based in The Hague. Now the court will be able to investigate (alleged) war crimes in Gaza. Israeli leaders could end up on trial. The move has been criticised in Israel as "counterproductive." For a Palestinian Catholic leader, it is an "important step" against "those who committed human rights violations”. Now everyone can be accountable for his or her acts.
04/01/2015ASIA - CHINA Beijing closes competition for "Super Bank" founders: 46 States in the running Sweden and Kyrgyzstan increase the European and Asian presence. Group includes Hong Kong and Taiwan, joining under the name "Chinese Taipei". Japan and the US stay out. Analysts: "a big mistake in underestimating the potential threat of this new financial reality". On April 15, the final list and the allocation of capital.
04/01/2015VATICAN Pope: During the Triduum "we enter into the mystery, making our own" Christ’s sentiments "Over the centuries, there have been men and women who with the testimony of their lives reflect a ray of perfect, full, untouched love," like Don Andrea Santoro, the missionary killed in 2006 in Turkey. "Sometimes the darkness of the night seems to penetrate the soul; sometimes think, 'now there's nothing to be done', and the heart can no longer find the strength to love ... But in that dark Christ lights the fire of God's love: a blaze that breaks the darkness and announces a new beginning".
04/01/2015YEMEN Raid in Yemen: India, China, Pakistan and Somalia evacuate their citizens In the last hours New Delhi has managed to rescue 348 compatriots from about 4 thousand living in the Gulf country. Beijing has evacuated 600 people from Aden, Islamabad over 500. Mogadishu asks nationals to contact the consulate: of the nearly 250 thousand refugees living in Yemen, 95% is Somali.
03/31/2015LEBANON A standing Islamic-Christian conference in Lebanon to meet the region’s challenges by Fady Noun Christian and Muslim leaders yesterday agreed to establish such a structure in Bkerké. It will hold quarterly meetings. The failure to elect a new president and the Islamist threat are the main issues that require a solution. On the long run, the arrival of Syrian and Iraqi refugees, on top of existing Palestinian refugees, threatens the country’s very existence.
03/31/2015IRAN Christians in Iran: safe but in a ghetto (II) by Bernardo Cervellera The small Armenian, Chaldean and Latin communities are free but inside their churches. Muslims seeking baptism have to be turned away to avoid antagonising the government. The prevailing model is one of tolerance, living side by side, but without dialogue. As a new Latin cathedral is under construction, many fear that Rouhani’s openness may not last.
03/31/2015MIDDLE EAST - ISLAM Fr. Samir: Arab military coalition possible peacekeeping force to guarantee pluralism by Samir Khalil Samir For the first time in history, a dozen Arab countries have decided to launch a joint military force to fight terrorism. The idea in itself good, in practice is sliding into a sectarian struggle between Sunni and Shia. Instead they could fight the Islamic state, ensure the return of Christians in Iraq and in Syria, push for peace between Israel and Palestine.
03/30/2015IRAN Christians in Iran: with Rouhani there is some movement (I) by Bernardo Cervellera As the world’s most powerful nations try to find an agreement on the Iranian nuclear issue in Lausanne, in Iran things are changing. Despite known limitations on freedom of conscience and problems, including violence, the country’s 350,000 Christians enjoy a degree of freedom that is certainly greater than in other countries of the region. This is the first part of a report.
03/29/2015VATICAN Pope: Holy Week, God’s way is humility, it is Jesus’ way, and “we will take this path” During Palm Sunday Mass, which begins Holy Week, Pope Francis cited the example of people “who, in silence and hiddenness, sacrifice themselves daily to serve others: a sick relative, an elderly person living alone, a disabled person . . .” He also cited today’s martyrs, persecuted because of their faith, a “cloud of witnesses”. Palm Sunday also marks the celebration of the 30th World Youth Day. Deacons of the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions provided the service to the pope and the altar. The pope called on young people to come in pilgrimage to Krakow in 2016. He also mentioned the victims of the plane crash in the French Alps.
03/28/2015EGYPT – MIDDLE EAST Arab military force to fight Shias and (perhaps) the Islamic state Arab League members agree to a military coalition to address conflicts in the Arab world. The "historic" deal shelves past Western-led coalitions. The anti-Islamist fight and even the Israeli-Palestinian problem are overshadowed by the main goal: containing Iranian influence. However, the confessional divide is giving the Islamic State group greater leeway and is undermining the social and political demands of the Arab Spring.
03/27/2015YEMEN-MIDDLE EAST Saudis continue raids against Shiite rebels. A religious war, but also a question of power by Paul Dakiki The military operation "Firmness Storm " has already caused 39 civilian deaths. Saudi Arabia (Sunni) along with Sudan, Turkey and Pakistan against Iranian influence in the Middle East. Objectives include: to ensure Bab-el-Mandel Strait; undermine the agreement on the Iranian nuclear question. Inter-Arabian military force launched to fight Islamic State terrorists.
03/27/2015IRAQ Mar Dinkha IV, Patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East, has died He was responsible for the rebuilding of his Church and overcoming old divisions. Fond of ecumenical dialogue, on 11 November 1994, he signed a Joint Declaration on Christology with John Paul II, which recognized that the Assyrian Church of the East and the Catholic Church confess the same faith in Christ.
03/27/2015UNITED NATIONS – MIDDLE EAST Patriarch of Baghdad addresses UN, calling for new laws against states or individuals who support terrorists by Louis Raphael I Sako* The Security Council is meeting in a French-sponsored session dedicated to Christians and persecuted minorities in the Middle East. Chaldean Patriarch Louis Sako hopes to see the international community provide its full support to Iraqi and Kurdish authorities. He also calls for strict laws against terrorism, as well as actions in favour education reform and exegeses of sacred texts that oppose extremism.
03/26/2015ISLAM IS a violent response to the emptiness young Muslims feel in the West Jihadists have focused their recruitment efforts among young people. In the past three months, IS has recruited some 400 minors. Alienated in and by their societies, many young Western Muslims seek to even the score. For PIME Islam expert, young people want an inclusive identity and references. Muslim scholar believes that the violent response stems from the Western world’s “emptiness”.